We’ve seen some innovative uses of the “skip” function on YouTube’s skippable pre-roll ads. The first one I saw was on April Fools when Rhett & Link turned a video called “Funny Baby Panda Kiss” into a skippable ad nightmare for some viewers. Then, Volkwagen “did it for you” when they wanted to advertise their New Fusca model. Now, something a lot more serious. The new Belgium Suicide Prevention video gives you a warped reason not to skip the ad. Basically, the message is clear: you don’t want to hear the person who is in trouble, they may have extinguished their last hope.
Belgium Suicide Prevention “Skippable Ad”
Here’s the video explaining what they’re doing:
So, skip the ad, see the consequences. Watch the ad all the way, you’re being reinforced as a good person of some sort.
As the Business Insider post pretty much says, just because you skip the ad probably doesn’t mean you’re a bad person unwilling to help someone contemplating suicide. And just because you let the ad play doesn’t mean you’re a guardian angel. But it’s an effective ad nonetheless, giving people the awareness that just listening to someone can be the difference between life or death. And possibly, they reach some people who are encouraged to help. That’s ultimately the point.
I love the idea of finding a way around, or creating something out of, a limitation. The skippable ads on YouTube have been generally touted as a good thing: YouTube claims more people watch the ads, and it gives viewers the option to skip when all they want to do is watch the content. But there have been some interesting wrinkles to this format and I’m looking for more. Giving people a reason not to skip is good content. It’s being innovative with a potential limitation.